Movie title: Fine Wine
Release date: 12 February, 2021.
Runtime: 2hr 10mins
Director: Seyi Babatope
Cast: Ego Nwosu, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Zainab Balogun, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Belinda Effah, Segun Arinze, Ademola Adedoyin, Keppy Ekpenyong
This movie reminds me of how good clichés could still feel good regardless of how often we see them. It has all typical romance clichés we’ve seen occur across a vast variety of movies. It starts with meeting by accident, then experiencing an event that would cause them to meet again intentionally, it’s all the same as it’s always been. Nevertheless, it still feels good to see this being brought to the Nollywood scenes. It reminds me of the possibility of experiencing true love irrespective of boundaries such as age, status or class. It also highlights the difference in the actions of men who profess love, one saying it and the other actually showing it. A remarkable expression of love and romance, suitable for all to see.
“Fine wine” is not just another typical romance movie, this one takes us on a love journey between two individuals who happen to be age groups wide apart. A 55-year-old business mogul, George (Richard Mofe-Damijo) divorced and alone happens to meet this 25-year-old lady, Kaima (Ego Nwosu). He becomes awestruck by her after an incident where she speaks roughly to him due to a misunderstanding in reservation arrangements at a restaurant. It occurs to him that she has no idea of his identity or wealth status as he is one of the most influential Africans, not that alone, but one on Forbes list. They happen to meet again in a different circumstance this time around and this leads to several other events that’ll cause a development in their friendship. Kaima, a young lady who struggles in her current relationship with Tunji (Ademola Adedoyin), is either trying to get his attention or is asking to be spoken to in less condescending manners. Tunji clearly does not treat Kaima with as much love and care as Mr. George and it becomes a dilemma for her to decide who to choose. She ends up in a sticky situation shuffling between the two men and then has to forgo one for the other.
The cast did a decent job in acting out their roles to the best of their abilities I believe. RMD was able to carry out the humble and down to earth wealthy man with so much ease and finesse. You couldn’t help but love him in every scene. Ego Nwosu put up a good performance for the movie as well, she got into the character of a naive young lady who just wants to be treated right and respected by her man. Although, I believe RMD and Ego Nwosu could have done a better job at convincing us of the chemistry that ensues between them. I did not like the fact that I could tell they were acting out the chemistry between them, I would have very much preferred to feel it natural. I wanted the cell walls of my heart to quake as I witness the chemistry between both of them but sadly, it was merely a vibration.
Nse Ikpe-Etim plays the role of Ame, the ex-wife of George. I really enjoyed the role she plays in the movie because its like we see her and hear her but she isn’t really there. Every time she had to appear; it was over a video call with George. Her role is the prying ex-wife who is trying to sneakily edge her way back into her ex-husband’s life because of financial benefits. She carries this role out with such expertise, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it better.
If there was something I could not overlook, it was the countless unnecessary recurring dialogues. It almost seemed like the actors were asked to freestyle their dialogues at some point during filming. They speak about a subject matter then tarry around it with unnecessary dialogues. This was very offsetting for me because it felt like it was a waste of time.
We all have to agree that music and soundtrack plays an important role in filmmaking. A particular type of sound would set a particular mood for the viewers. There were soundtracks used in the movie that didn’t particularly match the scene. A poorly composed soundtrack would accomplish the opposite for which it was intended and pull the audience right out of the immersion that the filmmakers have worked so hard to create. It may not be enough to completely derail the entire film, but these musical moments were certainly distracting.
The costuming of all the characters are simple, convenient and relatable. There is just the right balance between all outfits chosen for varying characters because the characters are neither underdressed nor overdressed. The outfits chosen are relatable to fashion trends present today and that gives us some sense of familiarity and comfort with the fashion era for which they were styled.
Although, I really hoped more emphasis of affluence was portrayed in the style choices of Mr. George and his family. For someone on Forbes list, I expect to see more items of luxury costumed on their characters, items that pertain to a particular status symbol.
I barely noticed a variation in lightening techniques to set the mood, if there was any then I would rule it out as subtle. The scenes were properly lit so that every character comes into view. I had no issues when it came to viewing the characters in play, maybe as a result of poor lighting or what not.
Seyi Babatope is a Nigerian American film director. He directed “When Love Happens” (2014), “Sanitation”, “Mama Dramas” (2020), “Day” (2021), to mention a few. I would describe his directing technique as slow paced. You can almost feel like a drag with every oncoming scene. I can completely imagine him with a bag of chips in hand, slouched on his chair shouting “cut…Action”.
He uses some good videography techniques, I notice a good use of close up shots and medium shots as well throughout the movie.
“Fine wine” is the type of movie you would want to watch in a night robe, cookies in your right hand and your face plastered with your favorite face mask. It’s something you watch when you intend on unwinding after a stress filled week. That’s just to describe how chill and laid-back it is. I would rate my viewing experience a 6.5 out of a 10, mostly because I feel it had potential to be better than what I was given.